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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Theatre of the Poor and a New Intensity

File:Jerzy Grotowski.jpg

For those of you that don't know, this is Jerzy Grotowski.  Ask me to spell it but don't ask me to pronounce it.  I'd have a very hard time with it.  He was a Polish theatre director in the 1960's that did something called Theatre of the Poor.  I'm going to be reading more about it, but conceptually, I'm intrigued and I want to do something with it.  Focus on text and acting, not so much about visual design, little set and props.  In some cases, the actors would use their bodies as an extension of props.  And given the economic conditions, it seems to have a practical element as well.

I was never one for big, huge fancy sets.  I remember writing a play in high school and deliberately writing that the costumes should look cheap.  There wasn't supposed to be a pretension as to the way that the story was being told.  I remember being called out on it, asked "Why did you make that choice?" and not being able to answer.  Grotowski would have had my back...

So, the idea of taking ancient scripts and plays and re-working them in true 1960's counter-culture fashion has a lot of appeal at present.  Also want to workshop a play at present but that would have to wait until AWOL is over with.  Just need to find the right body of work to play around with.  Don't really want to mess with the Bible or The Odyssey since I'm already working with that.  I'll keep positing on it.

In other news, "Situations" is in great shape and I can't begin to talk about how excited I am for the kids and for the show!  I'm really looking forward to spending that much time in a theatre.  There's something about being exhausted in a theatre and spending entirely too much time in one that feels at home.  Comfortable.  Right.

I got some writing to do.  Feels good to say that.

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